The Best Classic Chili

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The Best Classic Chili – This traditional chili recipe is just like mom used to make with ground beef, beans, and a simple homemade blend of chili seasonings.

The Best Classic Chili recipe in a red bowl topped with cheese and sour cream

This classic chili is perfect for a weeknight meal because it can be made in minutes.  The only thing to chop is an onion.

How do you make good homemade chili?

  • Heat olive in a large soup pot. 
  • Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon.
  • Cook for 6-7 minutes.

onions and ground beef sautéing in a soup pot

  • Add chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. 
  • Stir until well combined.

chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper over browned beef and onions in a pot

  • Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, beef broth, and tomato sauce. 
  • Stir well.

diced tomatoes over chili seasoned ground beef and onions in a soup pot

  • Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  • Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

beans, beef broth, and tomato sauce added to chili seasoned beef, onions, and tomatoes in a pot

What do you top chili with?

In addition to the chili ingredients listed in this recipe for chili, you may also want to have these things as toppings.

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • sliced green onions
  • saltine crackers or oyster crackers
  • diced avocado

What goes well with chili for dinner?

I’ve been playing around with this chili recipe for the past few months, making it many times.  My family didn’t mind the repetition at all because I really do believe that I ended up with the best chili ever!

Watch the step by step recipe video for this chili recipe below.

Find more of my recipes on TikTok

The best classic chili recipe in a red bowl topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream

The Best Classic Chili Recipe

4.96 from 3171 votes
The Best Classic Chili - This traditional chili recipe is just like mom used to make with ground beef, beans, and a simple homemade blend of chili seasonings.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Servings 6 servings
Calories 334 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion -diced
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper* -optional
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce


  • Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and place it over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ground beef to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Stir until well combined.
  • Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  • Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then, reduce the heat (low to medium-low) to gently simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Let the chili rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.


I typically skip the cayenne pepper because I have a young kiddo.  Then, I put out some hot sauce for those adults that want to add some spiciness to their chili.


Serving: 1/6th of the recipe | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1249mg | Potassium: 1110mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1445IU | Vitamin C: 12.8mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 7.5mg
Course Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Keyword best chili, chili recipe, classic chili, homemade chili
Cuisine American
Author Amanda Finks

Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m not sure exactly what made this recipe so much better than others I’ve tried, but wow, it was delicious and was ready in half the time of others!! I used the season end of green pepper from my garden (about 1/2 cup) and fresh garlic but otherwise, I followed your recipe exactly. I bet it will be even better for tomorrow’s dinner! Thanks so much, it’s definitely a keeper.

  2. 5 stars
    Incredible Chili recipe! I opted for the larger can of Tomatoes, added 1/2 a green bell pepper and real garlic and a dash of Worcestershire at the end. SO GOOD!!

  3. 5 stars
    This was really a good chili well deserving of all the five stars it has received and as usual, I put my own spin on It by adding a few more spices like Smoked Paprika, Basil, and a can of black beans to accompany the red Kidney beans.

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent! I modified a little by adding 2 med cloves garlic (instead of powder), 1/2 c celery (with leafy tops) and about 1/4 c each of red, yellow, orange and jalapeño peppers all at a med chop. I also used crushed tomatoes instead of diced and omitted the tomato sauce. I thought the amount of spice and even the sugar would be too much but it wasn’t – it was perfect! Thank you for this great recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Chili was great! I did everything by the recipe except the broth- didn’t have any. So I added an extra two jars of tomato sauce. Because It was a little sour from the tomato sauce I added a bit more sugar to balance everything but the recipe was delicious definitely a keeper!

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe. If you really want to give it that special something, replace the sugar with Cinnamon Sugar or add ground Cinnamon… mmmmmmm… so good.

  7. 5 stars
    I made it as is but also put in a sliced jalapeño along with the onions. Perfect over a baked potato, with some corn chips or in a bowl with cheddar cheese and some sour cream! Delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    this recipe is a masterpiece. my partner claims that this chili is what made him fall in love with me lol. ❤️ only thing I added was a tablespoon maybe of onion powder and sometimes I’ll cook half a jalapeno with the beef and onion. but totally not necessary, just personal preference. I don’t even eat chili, but I think this is awesome stuff. thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    VERY Tasty Chili! I made this recipe tonight, and the only thing I would change is I would do 1Tbsp of sugar instead of 2, but otherwise, the flavor is amazing! So glad I found this recipe.

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About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

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